Rice Cooking Methods
American-grown rice is a high-quality product that does not require washing or rinsing before or after cooking. Most U.S. white rice is enriched with iron, niacin, thiamin, and folic acid. Rinsing rice, or cooking rice in excess water
and draining, results in loss of enrichment and other water-soluble vitamins and minerals.
For best cooking results, follow package directions. When directions are not available, use one of the easy methods below.
Combine rice, liquid, salt, and butter or margarine (see Rice Cooking Chart) in 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling; stir once or twice. Reduce heat to low; cover tightly and simmer (see cook times below). Remove carefully and fluff with a fork. If rice is not quite tender or liquid is not absorbed, replace lid and cook two to four minutes longer.
- White Rice – 20 minutes
- Whole Grain Rice (e.g., Brown Rice) – 40 to 45 minutes
- Parboiled Rice – 25 to 30 minutes
Cooking rice in the oven is an efficient use of energy when other foods are baking, and it frees up your stovetop when cooking other dishes. Boiling liquid must be used to start the cooking process.
Carefully combine rice, boiling liquid, salt, and butter or margarine (see Rice Cooking Chart) in a baking dish or pan; stir. Cover tightly and bake at 350°F (see cook times below). Remove from oven carefully and fluff with a fork.
- White Rice – 25 to 30 minutes
- Whole Grain Rice (e.g., Brown Rice) – 50 to 60 minutes
- Parboiled Rice – 30 to 40 minutes
Rice cookers make cooking both white and whole grain brown rice easy and foolproof, and they keep rice warm. When using a rice cooker, care should be taken to follow individual manufacturers’ directions.
Generally, all ingredients are combined in the rice cooker. Turn the rice cooker on and indicate if the rice is white or whole grain. It will stop cooking automatically by sensing a rise in temperature and change in moisture content that occurs when rice has absorbed the liquid and is fully cooked.
Microwave ovens vary in size and wattage. The following cooking times are based on preparation in 1200-watt ovens. For best results, follow manufacturer directions for your oven. When directions are not available you may follow these
Combine rice, liquid, salt, and butter or margarine (see chart) in 2½- to 3-quart deep microwave-safe baking dish; cover tightly.
- For White Rice – microwave on high five minutes or until boiling; reduce to medium (power level 5 or 50% power) and microwave 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Let stand five minutes.
- For Whole Grain Rice (e.g., Brown Rice) – microwave on high five minutes; reduce to medium (power level 5 or 50%) and microwave 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Let stand five minutes.
- For Parboiled Rice – microwave on high five minutes or until boiling; reduce to medium (power level 5 or 50% power) and microwave 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Let stand five minutes.
Rice Cooking Guide
Regardless of which cooking method is chosen, the proportion of liquid to rice and the cooking time are key to preparing perfectly cooked rice. The general "rule of thumb" is 2 to 1 (2 parts liquid to 1 part rice by volume). However, it is important to note that different rice types may require slightly less or slightly more liquid.
Tips for Cooking Perfect Rice
Before You Start
- Accurately measure rice and liquid.
- Rice triples in volume, so use cookware appropriate for the amount of rice you are preparing.
- If more separate grains are desirable, sauté rice in small amount of butter or margarine before adding liquid.
While You Cook
- Keep lid on pot during cooking to prevent steam from escaping.
- Do not stir—stirring releases the starch, resulting in rice that is sticky.
- Set timer to prevent under- or over-cooking. Cook times are based on your method of cooking; always check cooking time carefully.
As You Finish
- If rice is not tender or liquid is not absorbed, cook 2 to 4 minutes longer.
- If the rice is crunchy or has a hard center, add more liquid, cover tightly and continue cooking.
- When rice is cooked, fluff with a fork or slotted spoon to allow steam to escape and keep the grains separate.
Rice Cooking Chart
Below are the approximate liquid ratios and cooking times for rice most commonly used at home and in foodservice. For best results, refer to the package instructions to verify the proper ratio of liquid to rice and cooking time for the specific rice you are using.
|Rice Type||Parts Liquid to 1 Part Rice (by volume)||Cooking Time|
|White, long grain||2||15 to 18 minutes|
|White, medium grain||1 ½||15 to 18 minutes|
|White, short grain||1 ¼||15 to 18 minutes|
|Brown, medium or long grain||2 ¼||40 to 45 minutes|
|Parboiled||2 ¼||20 minutes|
|Parboiled, brown||2 ¼||25 minutes|
|U.S. jasmine, white||2||15 to 18 minutes|
|U.S. basmati, white||2||15 to 18 minutes|
|U.S. arborio||4||20 to 30 minutes|
|Wild Rice||3||40 to 50 minutes|
Considering the 2:1 ratio, dry rice typically triples in volume when cooked.
- 1 cup dry rice = 3 cups cooked rice
- 1 quart dry rice = 3 quarts cooked rice
Dry rice more than doubles in weight during cooking:
- 1 pound dry rice = 2+ pounds cooked rice
When working with rice it is usually easier to measure the ingredients and calculate portions by volume. For costing purposes and writing recipes, it is helpful to know the correlation between volume and weight measures for rice:
- 1 cup dry rice = approximately 7 ounces (weight)
- 1 pound dry rice = approximately 2¼ cups (volume)
- 1 cup cooked rice = approximately 8 ounces (weight)
- 1 pound cooked rice = approximately 6½ cups (volume)